SJC Art Project, 1941, Box 1


The second box of 2 1/4″ x 3 1/2″ negatives has ART written on the top.

Seems Joel got himself a project photographing artwork at SJC (Stockton Junior College) in 1941. Some artwork is dated “41”, so it’s safe to say that the expiration date on the box, is also the year these images were taken.

Subject matter is 2D and 3D in various media. Since there is no way to determine the order in which the shots were taken, I’m showing them in order I retrieve them from the box.

A box is supposed to have 12 negatives in them, but I counted 16 Kodak/Eastman Film negatives and 3 Agfa Safety Film negatives. As you will see, the last ones have a different subject matter and it will never be totally clear how they got mixed up in this lot. But I do have a theory.

Over 80 years have expired since these images were taken and developed. Not only do we get to see Joel perfect his chosen craft, we also experience artwork that was made over 80 years ago, immortalized in this manner. And that gives Art Archeologists something to do.

Flat art was photographed while pinned to the wall while the 3D art was on a table, lit by a spotlight.

Landscape by MOBERLY, 1941
Farm, unidentified artist, 1941
Man in Suit, Rat, 1941
Woman reading at desk, Jamie Sanders.
Hands and Fingers, Jamiec “41”
Portrait, Geo. Akimoto
Portrait, Profile, Akimoto, 1941
Mosaic in progress, Unidentified Artist, 1941
3D Artwork, various materials, 1941
Whimsical woodcarvings, unidentified artist, 1941
Plastic, Unidentified Artist, 1941
3D Wooden Book Cover, 1941
Architectural feel, unidentified artist, 1941

The last image is overexposed but the resulting “high key” image still holds up.

In order to pull a photoshoot of like this, Joel must have worked meticulously with a light meter. Of course, we don’t get to see the rejects !

In all the negatives, I found only one that was underexposed. Joel make a second image when the stone mosaic was finished and the latter turned out pretty dark. The lighting conditions were not the same.

Underexposed but finalized mosaic, 1941

The three following images were not photographed on Eastman/Kodak film but on Agfa Safety Film. The brand is clearly visible on the edge and as one can see, the notches are of quite a different design.

I didn’t find an Agfa film box in this format, I can expect to find more Agfa negatives stashed away between the Eastman Film negatives of the same format.

There were two portraits of a man and a negative of a church or chapel under construction.

Portrait of an unidentified man, most likely 1941.

The both high-key images are actually flipped, this is how our subject would see himself in the mirror.

Portrait of an unidentified man, most likely 1941.

Last image is of a church or campus chapel under construction and as far as I can tell, this is the Morris Chapel at UOP. The UOP chapel started construction in 1937 and was finished and dedicated on April 19, 1942. (This negative is equally from the Agfa Safety film stock, these Agfa negatives have a wonderful feel to them.)

UOP Morris Chapel under construction, 1941,

Since Stockton Junior College was on or near the campus of what’s currently UOP, Joel must have seen the construction of the Morris Chapel progressing. It was only a matter of figuring out a good vantage point to take this shot.

There are 3 more of these boxes to go through.

Cheers !


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